TikTok has taken the social media industry by storm over the past few years, attracting more than 1 billion users worldwide, creating a huge new class of creators / influencers, transforming how music is invented and forcing competitors like Meta’s Instagram and Alphabet’s YouTube. Launch their own short-video platform.
TikTok has grown so much that it has been taken from YouTube as the main sponsor of this week’s VidCon conference in Anaheim, California, the first private gathering of the biggest conference in the social media industry since 2019. As the main sponsor, TikTok is hosting a dozen panels through Saturday as well as keynote speeches on today’s industry.
Brands are increasingly moving towards TikTok and its short-video competitors Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. And there are plenty of good reasons to do so, typically involving making videos less than 1 minute long usually out of low production costs.
According to the benchmark compiled by, the viewer engagement rate for TikTok videos is much higher, longer or shorter than most competing social-video platforms. Creator IQWhich helps track and manage millions of influential campaigns in dozens of countries for global consumer brands such as Disney, Nestle and Unilever.
For a “mega” TikTok influencer with more than 1 million followers, the “Engagement” CreatorIQ benchmark rate is 8.8%. CreatorIQ calculates TikTok engagement by adding likes, comments and shares and sharing the total views of a video. For the brand, this means that on average, they can expect one in 12 viewers to interact in some significant way (some viewers will interact in multiple ways) with a tick-tack video provided by a major influencer.
Other platforms, which use a variety of ways for all fans to interact with videos and creators, require separate calculations for their CreatorIQ benchmark, so this is not an Apple-to-Apple comparison.
But according to CreatorIQ, all other platforms generate much lower rates of “engagement” in their version, which creates statistics based on their direct access to visitors’ data on all platforms. Only “nano” influencers on YouTube (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) come close to the audience engagement level for TikTok’s biggest stars, 8.5%.
For comparison, YouTube Mega Influential videos will attract an average engagement rate of only 2%. Notice: YouTube has 29,000 creators, each with at least 1 million subscribers, According to Tubis.
But for entrepreneurial brands on TikTok, creating successful content and campaigns involves more than just creating short versions of a video that can be posted on YouTube or Facebook.
I asked CreatorIQ Chief Business Development and Partnership Officer Tim Sove to detail three tips for improving their TikTok (or YouTube Shorts or Instagram Reels) games for the brand. Here is what he came back with:
1. Lean towards the Creator’s partnership while giving the Creators plenty of creative freedom – Although brands have traditionally been accustomed to developing their own communities and content on social platforms, the manufacturer-enhanced content has up to five times the completion rate and doubles the conversion rate on TikTok. Brands should focus on a manufacturer-first strategy to get the most out of the platform.
2. Align with the internal business results of a campaign before launching TikTok – It is important for brands to identify the business outcomes of a given campaign and the strength of the platform. TikTok focuses on developing a full-funnel attribution ecosystem, and has made great strides in its trade offerings between manufacturers and brands, as seen in trends like ‘TikTok Made Me By It’.
3. Tendency between challenges and viral tendencies – TickTock has a track record of turning products into a virtual overnight viral sensation. Organically incorporating their messaging into these trends requires a sleek team of brands and a strong creator relationship. American Eagle, Chipotle and Cowdale are just a few of the brands that have really tapped into the power of viral trends and challenges on the platform.